About tourism safety
Balloons with laughing gas began at backpacker tourist spots Koh Phangan & Koh Samui then spread to Bangkok at Khao San Road.
Foreign and Thai tourists dance during the monthly full moon party on the beach in Koh Phangan, southern Thailand. (EPA file photo)
'Laughing gas' balloons crackdown
AP News agency
Thai authorities are cracking down on vendors in Bangkok's main backpacker district selling cheap doses of balloons filled with nitrous oxide, or laughing gas to tourists.
Eight vendors have been arrested since police first noticed the trend a few weeks ago along Khao San Road, a pedestrian street lined with bars and cheap hotels, Pol Lt Col Pitiphan Kridakorn said Monday.
Each dose sells for about 130 baht, or US$4.
Pol Lt Col Pitiphan said the sale of drug-filled balloons started in popular beaches, such as Koh Samui, Pattaya and Koh Phangan - an island known for "full moon" parties fuelled by drugs and alcohol.
He said police are trying to curb sales of the drug-filled balloons in the capital before it gains wider popularity.
Illicit sales of nitrous oxide could cause harmful side effects to users and give the country a negative image he said.
Those arrested face up to five years in prison and a $300 fine for selling medicine without authorisation
Learn from listening
Click "play" to listen to Laughing gas: Crackdown at tourist areas and "Download" to keep this file for educational purpose.
arrest: (of the police or, in this case, soldiers) to take someone under control because they are believed to have committed a crime - จับกุม
authorisation: official permission or power to do something - การอนุญาตหรืออำนาจที่ได้มอบหมาย
crack down: to start dealing with someone or something much more strictly - เข้มงวด การปราบปรามหรือลงโทษอย่างรุนแรง
dose: an amount of drug that you take at a single time - ปริมาณยาที่ให้ต่อครั้ง
fuel: to cause something, usually bad, to happen; to increase something; to make something stronger - ก่อให้เกิด, ทำให้รุนแรงขึ้น
full moon: when the moon is big and looks like a circle - เดือนเพ็ญ, พระจันทร์เต็มดวง
harmful: causing damage or injury to somebody/something, especially to a person's health or to the environment - เป็นอันตราย,เป็นภัย
illicit: against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย
image: an opinion that people have about someone or something - ภาพลักษณ์
laughing gas: the chemical nitrous oxide used by dentists to reduce pain and also used by some as recreational drug that makes you feel happy and laugh - ก๊าซชนิดหนึ่งใช้เป็นยาสลบ, แก๊สหัวเราะ
line: to form lines or rows along something - เรียงเป็นแนว
negative: bad - ที่เป็นด้านลบ
notice: to see or hear somebody/something; to become aware of somebody/something - สังเกต
pedestrian: a person who walks, especially in an area where vehicles go - คนเดินถนน
popular: a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
prison term: a length of time someone is required to stay in prison - ระยะเวลาที่จำคุก
side effect: an unpleasant effect of a drug that happens in addition to the main effect - ผลข้างเคียง
trend: a gradual change or development that produces a particular result - ทิศทาง แนวโน้ม
vendors: people who sell things, e.g., food or newspapers, usually outside on the street - พ่อค้าแม่่ค้าหาบแร่แผงลอย
Latest stories in this category:
- Protests: “Final battle” starts tomorrow
- A big language challenge
- Chiang Khong bridge to open December 11th
- Rotating house to catch sun & wind: Made in Chiang Rai
- Nelson Mandela dies aged 95
- Thais celebrate His Majesty the King’s birthday
- Satellite TV: Jamming signal of Blue Sky & Thai Asia
- Struggling for breath